Send a Deployed Service Member a July 4th Thank You

By Tracie Ciambotti, cofounder of Military Families Ministry

As Americans, we will celebrate our freedom this July 4th with our families—backyard barbecues and fireworks.  I hope every American remembers to stop and say a prayer on that day for the men and women who fight to defend the freedom that July 4th represents.  Many military families will not be spending that day with their loved one who is serving abroad on a deployment.

Military Families Ministry  (MFM) is collecting “Thank You” cards and letters to send to deployed service members this July 4th.  We need to ship them by mid-June for arrival by July 4th.   

Will you help us?  Write a thank you card or letter to a service member and if you know one personally, send it to him or her directly.  If you don’t know a service member, send the cards to MFM and we will send them to the chaplains we support to be distributed to the troops.

You can contact Military Families Ministries here and share your contact information.

I made this card in June of 2005 when my son, Josh, was serving in Iraq on his first deployment.  This poem was my thank you to him and my prayer for him to come back home.  This year, I want to get thousands of thank you cards to send this message to all who are serving abroad—for our freedom. You can download a copy of the Thank You Card or the Poem here.

Do You Remember Where Were You When …

I will always vividly remember sitting on the floor in modern dance when the door opened and in came the rest of the dance department students and faculty of the small arts college I attended. The pianist was confused and slowly came to a stop mid-bar as all of us taking the class finally realized that we needed to stop, too. It was the morning of September 11, 2001 and the Dean had gathered us together to let us know that planes had flown into the Twin Towers.

Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day and I made my way home from Downtown Miami. I spent the rest of the day watching the news as footage of the planes and later the buildings collapsing  played on a loop.

There would be the start of the war on terrorism, anthrax scares, countless speeches from elected officials, bombings, and the ever-growing list of things you can’t take on planes. It all instantly became the new normal and life continued.

We were getting ready for bed and my husband decided to check his Facebook page one last time. Seemingly out of nowhere, he said “Osama’s dead.” Thinking either I or he had misunderstood, he immediately began looking for information online and I turned on a local TV channel. There in big letters read: “Osama bin Laden has been killed.”

There was a moment of relief and celebration as we each scrolled through our Facebook pages reading everyone else’s comments and leaving a few of our own.

However, relief quickly turned to concern as the questions started running through my head: What now? What does this mean for my husbands’ job in the military? Will there be more deployments? What are they going to do to get back at us?

When the President came out to speak, I almost wanted to wake up my daughter. She’s only four months old but I thought I could tell her when she was older that she listened as the President told us we had one more reason to slept better at night.

Running errands around town on Monday, I sensed a buzz in the air as people talked about Bin Laden’s death, news coverage released more information, people celebrated in the streets and the Facebook posts continued. My personal favorite: The regular girl married the prince and the bad guy is dead. This weekend has been brought to you by Disney.

Does this fix anything? No. Could there be retaliation? Yes. Will we get through this phase of this ongoing saga? Definitely. Our soldiers still put on their uniforms and went to work today. Osama bin Laden’s followers aren’t going to just lay down their guns and walk away. However, I think America needed this reminder that our efforts are not in vain and we needed a reason to celebrate. It’s not over, but I hope we are getting there.

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